2016 Book #9 – Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

71QVUdo4D4LTitle: Missing Pieces
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Date finished: 2/2/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller/suspense
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Pages in book: 288
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “murder mystery” square, since this book had a number of murders that no one knew who committed them. I’m not going to say how many murders because that would spoil it! So this book is about Sarah Quinlan, who accompanies her husband Jack back to his hometown of Penny Gate after his aunt falls down the stairs. Sarah knows about Jack’s history with the town and why he’s hesitant to return; his dad was drunk driving when he wrecked his car twenty years ago and both Jack’s parents were killed. At least, that’s the version Sarah knows about. Once they arrive in town though, multiple people say something that piques Sarah’s interest and leads her to think there may be more to the story that Jack isn’t telling her.
Overall I really liked this book! I was finishing the book at 11:30 at night and I can’t even tell you how creeped out I was. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat for hours, I couldn’t put it down I was so desperate to find out who the killer was. I thought the author did a fantastic job of really getting the reader into the main characters head and making us as a reader question what we could and couldn’t trust of the other characters in the book. I also really loved Sarah as a character, I was so glad that she stood up to Jack when she found out he was lying to her. I love a main female character with a strong backbone and Sarah was definitely a great example of that. There weren’t many things I didn’t enjoy about this book, there were a good number and twists and turns. The only thing is that the ending ending up feeling almost anti-climactic for me, it happened so fast. It was an ending I didn’t exactly expect though so that was good! Overall though great read and everyone should go read this one!

The bottom line: I would absolutely recommend this book. I could not put it down, it was suspenseful and kept me hooked the whole time. Great book!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #107 – The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan

51I1+dyqiNLTitle: The Good Neighbor
Author: Amy Sue Nathan
Date finished: 10/13/15
Genre: Women’s fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Pages in book: 272
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

When small lies have big consequences…
Things are a little rough for Izzy Lane. Still reeling from the break-up of her marriage, the newly single mom moves back to the Philadelphia home she grew up in, five-year-old Noah in tow. The transition is difficult, but with the help of her best friends-and her elderly neighbor, Mrs. Feldman-Izzy feels like she’s stepping closer to her new normal. Until her ex-husband shows up with his girlfriend. That’s when Izzy invents a boyfriend of her own. And that’s when life gets complicated.
Blogging about her “new guy” provides Izzy with something to do when Noah’s asleep. What’s the harm in a few made-up stories? But when her friends want to meet the mysterious “Mac,” someone online suspects Izzy’s a fraud, and a guy in real life catches her eye, Izzy realizes just how high the stakes are.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Izzy (Elizabeth) Lane. After her divorce from Bruce, she moves back into her childhood home with her son Noah until she can get things together. After she puts Noah to bed every night she escapes into the online world of blogging. She started a blog where she relates her dating experiences and it has become more and more popular. It is because of this that Izzy’s friend Jade asks her to become one of the new writers on her web site. Only problem is that lately Izzy has been writing more and more about her new boyfriend Mac and Jade wants her to keep writing about their dates. Unfortunately, that’s going to be a little difficult because, well, Mac doesn’t exist.
What follows is a touching story about a near forty-year old woman trying to find her way in the world now that her life has been uprooted and trying to find a new purpose. Izzy as a character I felt could have had a little more depth but she was vulnerable and generous of heart. Her monologues about her feelings regarding Noah and sharing his time with Bruce were particularly touching for me. This book really brings home the heartbreaking situation that comes with having to share a child with another parent. Each parent has a right and a desire to have time with that child (in a perfect world) but who gets to decide which parent gets more time with the child? Parents (hopefully) decide what is best for the child in this scenario but I can’t imagine having to give up weeks at a time with a child, its just a terrible no-win situation. Anyways, the other characters in the story I also felt could have had more depth but the story line was well paced and the book overall was a quick read that I enjoyed.

The bottom line: I thought this was a quick and easy read. It was a sweet and touching story, I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page